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Does a Gatekeeper Suicide Prevention Program Work in a School Setting? Evaluating Training Outcome and Moderators of Effectiveness


  • This research was supported by a student/faculty collaborative research grant from Linfield College. A portion of the current study was previously presented at the meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development in March 2007. We gratefully acknowledge Chipo Dendere for her assistance with data entry and Annelise Nelson for her assistance with data collection, data entry, and participant follow-up. We also thank Donna Noonan, Oregon Public Health for providing the QPR training. Finally, we extend our deepest thanks to the individuals who volunteer their time on the Suicide Prevention Coalition, and to the participating schools for their willingness to be trained and/or be a part of the evaluation of the training.

Department of Psychology, Linfield College, 900 SE Baker Street, A570, McMinnville, OR 97128; E-mail:


The suicide prevention gatekeeper training program QPR (Question, Persuade, and Refer) was evaluated among school personnel using a nonequivalent control group design. Substantial gains were demonstrated from pre- to post-test for attitudes, knowledge, and beliefs regarding suicide and suicide prevention. Exploratory analyses revealed the possible moderating effects of age, professional role, prior training, and recent contact with suicidal youth on QPR participants' general knowledge, questioning, attitudes toward suicide and suicide prevention, QPR quiz scores, and self-efficacy. The need for replication using a more rigorous experimental design in the context of strong community collaboration is discussed.